Benito Floro seems to have both eyes firmly on the future as his latest roster for the Canadian Men's National Team is well stocked with young players still working their way towards the professional ranks. The squad of 23 players includes includes 12 players who could still represent Canada at the Under-23 level come 2016 Olympic qualification.
Floro's squad once again has a strong connection to Toronto FC and the GTA in general. Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Kyle Bekker, Manuel Aparicio, Jonathan Osorio, and Jordan Hamilton have all been included from TFC's senior team and they will be joined by academy player Elias Roubos. University of Connecticut forward Cyle Larin, a Toronto native, was also named to the squad.
Roubus and Larin are not the only players to be called into the squad that have yet to sign their first professional contract. They will be joined by Jackson Farmer, Ben Fisk, and Kianze Froeze from the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency as well as Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé from the Montreal Impact Academy.
There is a bit of a veteran presence in the team but for the most part it is all players who are either in their late teens or their early twenties. The young group is not scheduled for any friendlies during the 10 day camp that will take place in Florida which should give Floro and the more experienced players plenty of time to work with them and help them develop for future matches.
"My thought is always the same in every camp. (It's) to teach and train players to improve our capacity defensively and offensively around the complete system of play," said Floro. "(I want to) take advantage of the qualities of the Canadian footballer, who have good physical and technical qualities but need to be more competitive, this means to make hard presses and develop very good combined attack."
With such a young team there should be plenty of chances for Floro to coach the players. Part of the reason why the team is so young is that Floro did not have the option of calling in European based players unless they were out of season. That limited his options a bit but it is still surprising to see some of the more experienced MLS players like Dwayne De Rosario and Will Johnson left off the squad.
"In this camp we can only call the North American players, as well as European players out of season like Hirschfeld, Stamatopoulos, and Adam Straith," said Head Coach Benito Floro. "At the same time I filled out the roster with young players."
The full roster is as follows:
GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Valerenga Fotball
GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / A.I.K.
GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- Ashtone Morgan | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Luca Gasparotto | SCO / Rangers FC
D- Nana Attakora | USA / D.C. United
D- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
D- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Karl Ouimette | CAN / Impact de Montréal
D- Andres Fresenga | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
D- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
D- Elias Roubos | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Manuel Aparicio | CAN / Toronto FC
M- Adam Straith | GER / Wehen Wiesbaden
M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact de Montréal
M- Ben Fisk | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
F- Kyle Porter | USA / D.C. United
F- Frank Jonke | CAN / FC Edmonton
F- Jordan Hamilton | CAN / Toronto FC
F- Cyle Larin | USA / University of Connecticut
The CSA also confirmed that Jonathan Osorio is included in the roster despite being initially absent from the list